Not that I am—vexed and perplexed, that is. Or at least not very. I just like the words.
As 2011 winds down, we can check out via Merriam-Webster.com which words people were looking up the definitions of. But I’ve been amusing myself with Google’s Ngram Viewer. You can type in a word and see how frequently it’s been used within Google Books’ corpus. Now that’s a word for you: Corpus.
Obviously, such words as awesome, basically, actually and obviously are very twenty-first century. You can see the peaks and valleys for other words.
So without further ado, aside from the aforementioned vexed and perplexed, here is a random list of words whose usage has dissipated over the decades that I’d like to see back in use:
These words are on the downswing, but others are downright endangered. At the Oxford Dictionary’s Save the Words you can adopt one such poor little word on the brink of extinction. In the process you’ll promise to use the word “in conversation and correspondence, as frequently as possible to the very best of my ability.”
I adopted “jobler: one who does small jobs,” and “snobographer: one who describes or writes about snobs.” I certainly don’t see any encumbrance (another good word!) to using either of them.
But it’s a bit hypocritical that the OED is tossing out words like growlery to make room for such rubbish as bromance, woot and LOL.